LANCASTER – The 63-year-old woman mauled and killed by dogs as she took her daily morning walk in Littlerock has been identified as Pamela Marie Devitt, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
The six pit bulls and two mixed-breed dogs seized from a Littlerock property following the mauling were quarantined at the Lancaster Animal Care Center Friday morning.
“They’re kind of timid here, they’re a little scared, it’s an unfamiliar environment,” said Marcia Mayeda, Director of the County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC). “They’re all housed individually so they can’t engage in any sort of pack behavior.”
Mayeda said the five females and three male dogs were adults and weighed between 40 to 70 pounds. One of the mixed-breed dogs appears to be an Australian shepherd mix and the other mixed-breed appears to be part Labrador, Mayeda said.
All the dogs appear to be in good health, but not all of them are spayed and neutered, Mayada said. The dogs were seized following Thursday morning’s fatal mauling because there had been complaints in January and April of this year about horses being attacked by dogs from the home where the dogs resided, Mayeda said.
“We had prior reports of horses getting ridden past the house that were attacked by dogs from that residence,” Mayeda said. “We’re still determining whether they were the same dogs.”
At the time, the dogs’ owner was cited for all violations related to animal control, Mayeda said.
When the dogs came into the shelter Thursday night, some of them had blood on their faces and bodies, but none of the dogs were injured, Mayeda said.
Sheriff’s investigators were at the shelter until nearly midnight testing the canines to determine if they were involved in Thursday morning’s attack. The quarantine period is 10 days, but the dogs will be kept at the shelter until the investigation is completed, Mayeda said.
“We would seek an order of destruction for the dogs that were involved with the attack,” she said.
Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Pamela Marie Devitt was attacked by at least four large dogs on 116th Street East and Avenue S in Littlerock, sheriff’s officials said.
A motorist witnessed the attack and tried to intervene, but backed off and called authorities when the dogs began attacking the driver’s truck.
When the first deputy arrived on scene, one of the dogs was still attacking Devitt. The deputy shot at the dog, and the dog ran off into the desert.
A daylong search that included air and ground units led authorities to a home in the 37300 Block of 115th Street East, where residents had reported aggressive dogs in the past.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for the home, and seized eight dogs from the property.
During the search, deputies also discovered a marijuana grow, and 29-year-old Alex Donald Jackson was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale. He is the owner of the eight dogs, Mayeda said.
If investigators were to determine that none of the seized dogs were involved in Thursday morning’s attack, the owner could retain custody of three of the dogs per Los Angeles County pet limits, Mayeda said. The remaining dogs could be adoptable, pending an assessment evaluation, Mayeda added.
Pamela Devitt was a mother of two grown children and grandmother of one, according to her grieving husband Benjamin Devitt.
UPDATED 8/20/13: After a preliminary hearing that included two days of graphic testimony by 12 witnesses, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled there was enough evidence for Alex Jackson to stand trial for the murder of Pamela Devitt. The ruling came down on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Jackson is due back in court on Sept. 5 for a second arraignment. He remains jailed on 1,050,000 bail.
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